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                 June, 2009

      Charles Hansen, Editor

      Newsletter Archives   |  E-mail                    

  September 11, 1609
  — by Charles Hansen

        Most people remember September 11, 2001 when the World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists and eventually destroyed, killing more than 2,973 people, including Americans and foreign nationals but excluding the terrorists.

        This year (2009) New York is celebrating 400 years since the river was explored by the Englishman, Henry Hudson, under contract with the Dutch East India Company to find a northern passage to the far east ( On September 3, 1609 Hudson anchored in New York Harbor...

        September 11, 1609 he began a journey up the river that would eventually bear his name. For nearly two weeks he sailed up the river. He recorded, "The land is the finest for cultivation that I have ever set my foot upon, and also abounds in trees of every description." First Mate Robert Juet noted, "The river is full of fish."

        Hudson's crew traded and dined with the native people and described them as friendly . Juet wrote when the crew went ashore they found loving people.... and were well fed.

        On September 22, the ship reached a point near present day Albany, New York and shallow water prevented them from going further. This dashed Hudson's hope that he had found the northwest passage, so he turned around and sailed back down the river and then back to Europe.

        He landed in Dartmouth, England and the English forbade him from leaving and demanded that he serve his own country. A year later he was back in the new World after passing Scotland, Iceland and Greenland and discovering Hudson Bay. Because of the cold and food shortages his starving crew mutinied and Hudson and his son and a few loyal crew members were put on a small boat without food or water and left to die. At the time of his death few people recognized the importance of his 1609 exploration which led to the start of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands and the birth of New York.

        I have an ancestor that settled in New Amsterdam, then later moved up the Hudson and eventually moved south to North Carolina, but all was began by Henry Hudson's exploration of the Hudson River, for the Dutch, in September of 1609. Did your ancestors settle in New Amsterdam?

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